I love hearing about other people’s journeys to living a healthy lifestyle. Everyone has a different story, yet there’s always something that I can relate to or learn from. I thought I’d start a new feature on the blog that incorporates that. Twice a month on Fridays I’ll be sharing an interview from a healthy living blogger friend. Today I’m introducing Rachel.

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Could you share a little about yourself and your blog?​ I am the owner/founder of A Forever Change (www.aforeverchange.com). I am a personal trainer and group fitness instructor who has a passion for helping women gain confidence and overcome their insecurities. We focus on getting healthy and fit from the inside out! I am also a business mentor who is passionate about helping women find ways to earn a passive income, specifically in the fitness industry, so they can provide for their families while watching their children grow up!

​​What are your favorite ways to be active? ​Strength training is by far my favorite ​workout format, and for the longest time I was a huge group exercise junkie! Now that I stay home with my beautiful baby girl, I find it more difficult to go to the gym. At-home workouts in our upstairs gym are my go-to workouts these days. Along with family walks and time on our new recumbent bike!

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​​What’s your proudest fitness accomplishment so far?​ My proudest fitness accomplishment is losing over 45 pounds – TWICE! Several years ago, I struggled with a serious eating disorder that robbed me of my joy and left me grossly underweight. When I finally started eating again, the food that I once had control over now controlled me. I almost doubled my body weight! I knew I had a problem and needed to get some help. With proper, balanced nutrition and a strategic fitness program, I was able to shed the weight – this time, the healthy way – and keep it off. Fast forward to three years ago, when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter – I was definitely nervous. I gained over 45 pounds during pregnancy, but again was able to get fit the healthy way post-pregnancy and again lose over 45 pounds!​

​​How do you fit workouts and healthy eating into your schedule? ​I truly believe that we will do whatever is important to us. If working out is important, we will make time for it. If eating healthy is important, we will make time for it. My three biggest priorities are my faith, my family, and my fitness – in that order. My alarm is set for 5:15 every morning to make sure that I have the opportunity to take care of myself before anyone else wakes up. I am also a huge advocate of meal prepping. It saves me so much time during the week and only takes an hour or two out of my weekend. And finally, I don’t keep unhealthy food in our house (with the exception of the occasional treat that my husband will bring home). If it’s not here, it can’t derail me during a moment of weakness!​

​​What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome in your healthy lifestyle journey? ​The biggest obstacle I’ve overcome is my unhealthy relationship with food. I would say it is a constant work in progress, though – I don’t know that you ever really “get over” an eating disorder. But I think you manage it and control it the best you can. And you go from there.​

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​​What are three healthy living blogs you read for inspiration? ​I love reading Amanda Kaufman’s Blog, Meryl Heers’ Blog, Chrissy Carol’s blog, and ​of course, yours!

​​What’s your fitness philosophy?​ It’s ok to have setbacks and do-overs. It’s ok to start over. The most important thing is to keep moving forward. Take baby steps, but take steps. The change will come. Imperfect changes and slow steps of progress will last long after quick fixes.

​​What are three of your favorite posts on your blog? ​My favorite recipe is for pasta sauce, my favorite printable is for toddler snacks, and my biggest moment of vulnerability is when I blogged about my miscarriage last spring.
How can people connect with you on social media?​ You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Periscope: @mcmichaelrachel, or YouTube.

Thanks Rachel! I love your take on making time every day to take care of yourself before taking care of your family. I’m sure your journey of weight loss resonates with a lot of people as well. If you’d like to hear more from Rachel make sure you check out her blog. If you’re a healthy living blogger who would like to be featured send me an email.

Fit Friends Friday